Remembering Doc Draper

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ROBERT SEAMANS: He had a degree from Stanford I think in psychology. And he came here almost as a tourist and was intrigued by it. And I've heard-- and I can't prove this-- that he took more courses for credit at MIT than anybody's ever taken.

JUDSON BARON: He was the man responsible for the beginnings of the supersonic era in the department.

WALTER HOLLISTER: Draper's excitement, although he was a pilot and he liked to fly, and he was really excited by space. And so under Draper's tutelage, the department moved in that direction a lot further than it had ever been.

DOC DRAPER: I am sure that as time goes along, you will find inertial guidance equipment not in the advanced military weapons, but you will find it in commercial vehicles, on the land, in the sea, in the air, and in space. And I'm also I believe on firm ground if I say that 10 years from today, inertial guidance will be such an ordinary thing that it will not be even remarked by the people who are using them.

So they had asked me if I could make equipment that would take them to the moon and back. And I said, yes, I could. Well, they said, how would I guarantee this. And I said, I would go along and run it myself.